Near-future prospects in the construction sector remain bleak, with the onus firmly on the government to kick-start confidence in the economy to rescue the situation, the Construction Products Association (CPA) has said.

Total construction orders fell by a record amount in the three months to November, figures from the Office of National Statistics have shown, down 27% year-on-year. Private housing orders were down 55%, another record fall.

Conversely, orders for public non-housing projects were up 43% over the same period, according to the CPA, highlighting the need for government spending on public construction projects to revitalise confidence.

CPA has written to the government calling for prompt action in a number of areas, including making sure plans to bring forward £3bn of capital spending “is not purely rhetoric”.

“The government has a crucial role in restoring confidence in the economy and its future prospects so that businesses can begin to invest and consumers can feel confident enough in their own prospects to start spending,” said CPA economics director Noble Francis.

“For this to happen it is essential the government ensures the delivery of much needed investment in infrastructure and other public construction projects; these are vital to the country’s long-term economic growth.”

More opportunities are set to arise for the construction industry through the Building Schools for the Future initiative, with a number of local authorities set to join the scheme later this year.